Feb 062018

The featured musical performer at a spectacle as colossal as the Super Bowl is going to be under withering pressure to deliver something, well, spectacular. 

Like one of the amped-up and confident athletes taking the field for the Eagles/Patriots battle on February 4, Justin Timberlake may have thought, “Hey, I’ve got this!” After all, Timberlake is an international superstar who knows a few things about astounding audiences.

[Mixed Sports Metaphor Alert…]

If only Justin had kept the ball in his own court. 

But Timberlake added Minneapolis icon Prince to his musical extravaganza through the technical magic of video projections and an audio track—which, on the surface, seemed to be a nice tribute to a hometown hero at a Super Bowl half-time show held in the hometown arena (U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota). 

Unfortunately, Prince isn’t with us anymore—he passed away on April 21, 2016 of an opioid overdose—and the fact that Timberlake was planning to co-opt the likeness and voice of a private, guarded, and extremely artistically protective artist unleashed a whole flurry of pre-show concern and outrage. 

But whether you feel Timberlake did a solid for Prince, the Super Bowl, Minneapolis, and his own reputation as a superstar or not, we DO have some data from the Purple One himself, and it’s not exactly a thumbs up.

In the October 1998 issue of our sister publication Guitar World, Prince was asked whether he’d consider “jamming with an artist from the past,” as Natalie Cole had done in her 1992 “video duet” with her late father Nat King Cole, who had passed away in 1965. 

You can experience Prince’s thoughts on this subject in the video below…

By the way, the instrumental soundtrack of the above video was performed by Guitar Player Los Angeles Editor (and host of GP‘s No Guitar Is Safe podcast) Jude Gold.

[Check It Out: Read the 1998 Prince Interview in Guitar World]

You Might Also Dig Reading…

The Guitar Prince Left Behind

Prince’s Exclusive 2001 and 2004 Guitar Player Cover Stories

Electronic Musician‘s Article on the Timberlake/Prince Debacle

Keyboardmag.com: Prince, Piano, and Controversy at Super Bowl LII

#Demonic: Prince Slammed Ghostly Video Performances in a 1998 Guitar World Interview
Source: Guitar Player